Last year, Father Christmas brought me a pair of golden yellow Doc Marten’s Air Wair Boots. I must have behaved myself all year long, but looking at my 2020 calendar, it wasn’t particularly difficult to stay out of trouble. I’ve almost got them worn in now, so it’s nice to wear them and not have my feet torn to shreds (my pale pink socks will never be the same again). These solid leather boots match, almost exactly, the design of another pair I own. They’re just not… in real life.
My (Tall Meepa’s) original pair of boots were also a gift.
When you start playing the game (Final Fantasy XIV), clothes are really chosen for you. You begin with a set of level 1 clothes, and as you complete tasks, you earn new, higher level ones, as well as Gil, one of the in-game currencies and other shiny things like mounts (animals or vehicles to ride) and things to decorate your house with.
As you get about more, you can also learn to gather and craft. Gathering involves mining, botany or fishing; there are 7 crafting jobs to learn, too.
Mine are Survival Boots, which I’ve not learnt how to make yet – I made non-dyeable version, but who wants brown boots when they could be Honey Yellow?
Apart from the physical / digital difference between them, I don’t properly think they’re not the same thing as each other. The physical ones are made of PVC and leather, by someone not in England (trying to figure out where, will make an edit if I find it!), bought in Pounds Sterling, on the internet, directly from the company who made them. They were transported to our home and wrapped in colourful paper before I opened them on Christmas day. The digital ones were made by Enchan, using Dhalmel Leather, Ramie Thread and Pellitory (apparently to ‘repel all manner of vilekin’???). He probably bought the materials from a market board with Gil, but he might have gone out to hunt a Dhalmel, gather some Flax and Ramie, and made the leather and the thread before making them. He dyed them with Honey Yellow Dye and gifted them to me in the garden of the Free Company house sometime in November.
This game is an escape into another world, but it’s made of systems that oddly, faithfully mirror ours with a simplicity that means that while luck can always play a part in getting things, in Eorzea, players are free to pursue whatever takes their fancy, and if they’re prepared to put the work in, they’ll get it in the end.
Success, like the myths that successful people tell us, is actually possible if you believe in yourself and work hard in a game. Real life of course, doesn’t work like that, but it’s so nice to be able to dream.